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With the U.S. Senate confirming Texas Congressman John Ratcliffe as the Director of National Intelligence, Republican activists in his congressional district will have to decide who will get his spot on the ballot.

On August 8, Republican Party precinct chairs and county chairs within the 18-county congressional district will elect a candidate to replace the outgoing congressman on the November ballot, effectively choosing the next congressman in the safely red district that cuts from Rockwall through Northeast Texas to the Arkansas border.

Though vacancies like Ratcliffe’s would normally be filled in a special election, Ratcliffe’s decision to accept an executive position and forfeit his congressional seat and eligibility to run for Congress occurs too close to the November election in order to conduct an election and runoff. Under Texas law, the chairman of the Texas GOP can declare him ineligible and convene a “Congressional District Executive Committee” of the district’s precinct and county chairs to choose a replacement.

Active Texans might remember something similar happening at the state level when then-State Rep. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) withdrew his name from the ballot in August after winning a seat in the Texas Senate. House District 83 county chairs then selected Dustin Burrows as their general election nominee.

Earlier this month, Texas GOP Chairman James Dickey sent a letter to members of CD 4 CDEC, outlining the nomination process and noting the following points:

  • The CDEC meeting will be held beginning at 1 p.m. Central Time on Saturday, August 8, 2020, at The Hopkins County Regional Center, 1200 Houston Street, Sulphur Springs, 75482.
  • All that is required for someone to be a candidate is for a CDEC member to put their name in nomination during the CDEC meeting. A candidate must receive a majority of the votes cast by the CDEC members present in order to become the Party’s Congressional Nominee.
  • The Temporary CDEC Meeting Chair will be Donnie Wisenbaker, the County Chairman for Hopkins County.
  • The agenda of the meeting will be:
    • Call to Order, Prayer and Pledges
    • Report of Temporary Credentials Committee Chair
    • Vote to accept or modify Credentials Committee Report
    • Nominations for Permanent CDEC Chair
    • Election of Permanent CDEC Chair
    • Report of Temporary Rules Committee Chair
    • Vote to accept or modify Rules Committee Report
    • Nominations for candidates for Congressional Nominee for CD-4
    • Speeches by candidates for Congressional Nominee (and/or their representatives)
    • Election of Congressional Nominee
    • Vote on Motion to Adjourn

Texans for Fiscal Responsibility will consider candidates for endorsement in the race. More information about the candidates we’ve already endorsed and our endorsement process can be found here.